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Terence Winch
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Same back to you, mo chara.
Thanks, Amy, for the compliment & even more for the great comment.
Thanks, Anne. Love that response.
Barbara Henning, Selfie Photo on 11-1-20 at 4.44 PM _________________________________________________________ Here We Are Off to the stationery store on Avenue A to buy paper and metal bookends. At least 58 people died in Europe this week in a brutal cold wave, plunging temperatures to 17 degrees below zero. When I step inside, I'm suddenly phlegmy and coughing. Blood starts pouring out of my left nostril. A funny old woman hidden inside a blue hooded coat darts out the door. Republicans point at the millions of immigrant workers pouring into the country. Then I look in the mirror and see a funny looking old woman with her head wrapped like a mummy and a tissue stuck in her nose. King Tut's mummy was recently removed from the sarcophagus, and placed in a climate-controlled box to be displayed at a museum in Luxor. My husband often had a bloody nose. Maybe we'll find each other in another life. When I think of losing my children, I feel my body crack into pieces. China's cracking down on subversive meditating disciples of the Dalai Lama. Be thankful for now, Barbara. Today. This minute. Here we are. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Barbara Henning is the author of four novels and eight collections of poetry, most recently a collection of poems, Digigram (United Artists Books 2020) and a novel, Just Like That (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016). She is also the editor of Prompt Book: Experiments for Writing Poetry and Fiction (Spuyten Duyvil 2021), as well as The Selected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins (BV) and Looking Up Harryette Mullen (Belladonna). She is Professor Emeritus at Long Island University in Brooklyn. [“Here We Are” from A Day Like Today (Negative Capability Press, 2015) is used by permission; © 2021 by Barbara Henning.] ________________________________________________________________________________________________ In this Nov. 4, 2007 file photo, Egypt's antiquities chief Dr. Zahi Hawass, center, supervises the removal of the mummy of King Tutankhamun from his stone sarcophagus in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. © REUTERS / Ben Curtis Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Best American Poetry
Actually, Howard, we've been meaning to have a talk with you about those wrong notes.
Another insightful & erudite comment. Thanks, Earle.
_________________________________________________________________________________ Do’s and Don’t’s Tony Bennett said it was Frank Sinatra who told him, "Steal from one person and it's plagiarism. Steal from everybody and it's research." “Keep a strict eye on eulogistic & dyslogistic adjectives,” Lewis (C.S.) advised Tynan (Kenneth). “They shd diagnose (not merely blame) & distinguish (not merely praise).” “Almost any noun is better alone than chaperoned if it is the right noun, and very few can stand two adjectives” --Pound to Parker Tyler, ‘35-- “‘Unsettled dream’ is stronger than ‘unsettled white dream’.” Precision and economy of language are virtues this author recommends when writing poems, but finds difficult to put into practice. “It’s more important,” Ornette Coleman once said, “to play the correct feeling than the correct note.” “Some of the time," to quote Chuck Close, “you know you’re cooking; the rest of the time, you just do it.” Or as the handbook on improvisation for church organ advises: "Do not be afraid of being wrong; just be afraid of being uninteresting." ________________________________________________________________________________________ Mark Pawlak is the author of nine poetry collections and the editor of six anthologies. His latest book is Reconnaissance: New and Selected Poems and Poetic Journals (Hanging Loose). His work has been translated into German, Japanese, Spanish, and Polish. My Deniversity: Knowing Denise Levertov, a memoir, is forthcoming in 2021 from MadHat Press. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
You contain multitudes.
Thanks, Earle, for the comment. I personally think Buridan & Balaam should join forces. But maybe that would be too asinine or illogical.
______________________________________________________________________________________ The History of Western Philosophy Bertrand Russell had just about convinced me there’s more to life than sex I’d like to go to bed with him but he’s dead even windowless monads are sexy they remind me of gonads careening around & bumping each other hitting on each other I know more philosophy than that you’re not supposed to mix your muse with your mistress or they’ll both fuck you over the real question is is there anything we can think of which by the mere fact that we can think of it is shown to exist outside our thought the answer is sex therefore god exists sex is a revelation a reason empirical possible credible self-consistent the best of all possible worlds sex precedes existence precedes essence I fuck therefore I attract every body with a force directly proportional to the product of their masses Buridan’s ass unable to choose between 2 equidistant bundles of hay died of hunger call me up sometime I’ll make you lunch _________________________________________________________________________________ Elinor Nauen is a poet and prose writer who writes frequently about baseball, cars and driving, and place, and maintains a six-day-a-week blog (at Her books include Now That I Know Where I’m Going, American Guys, So Late into the Night (a book-length poem in ottava rima), My Marriage A to Z: A big- city romance, Cars and Other Poems, and, as editor, Ladies, Start Your Engines: Women writers on Cars & the Road and Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball. She hails from South Dakota, lives in Manhattan’s East Village with her husband (Johnny Stanton) and a cat (Lefty), and studies Norwegian and strict traditional Japanese karate. She hosted (with Martha King) the Prose Pros series from 2007-2019. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks, Jiwon. Great comment. May your wishes come true.
Thanks, Maureen. (I was hoping someone would notice.)
Thank you, Clarinda.
Thanks, mo chara is fearr.
Thanks, Pat. Banshee trauma is a common affliction in Irish households.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ Banshee The long, drawn-out howling of a dog shut up all night inside the auction ring out back of our B&B scares awake the owner's child so that she cries in the room below our bed, a duet that in my half-sleep seems to carry beyond Mount Eagle and Slea Head to my grandmother's Brooklyn apartment thirty years ago where, back-lit in her chair, she told me her story of the banshee, how as a child she heard it wail through the townland of Kilvendoney the day the neighboring farmer died; and again years later she listened to what sounded like the keening of an old woman under Sixth Avenue streetlights, and knew then that no prayer could save her oldest son lying in a coma, meningitis working into his brain, the pain like a small voice rising to a pitch beyond all hearing -- a noise so unlike the steady hum and beep of machines that monitored your induced sleep in the outpatient wing where they carved the lump from you, as it turned out, benign, the word soothing as the whisper this child's mother must use to calm the fractured music in her daughter's throat, Shush, shush, it's only an old watch dog, as moonlight softens the tin roof outside both our windows, and I draw you closer to me in our rented bed and rest my hand on your scarred breast. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Daniel Tobin is the author of nine books of poems, including From Nothing, winner of the Julia Ward Howe Award, The Stone in the Air, his suite of versions from the German of Paul Celan, and most recently Blood Labors, named one of the Best Poetry Books of the Year for 2018 by the New York Times and The Washington Independent Review of Books. His poetry has won many awards, among them the Massachusetts Book Award and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. His critical and editorial works include Passage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney, Awake in America, The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, and To the Many: The Collected Early Works of Lola Ridge. His most recent work is On Serious Earth: Poetry and Transcendence. A trilogy of book-length poems, The Mansions, will appear in 2023. He teaches at Emerson College in Boston. [See also this link for more poems and information.] ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kiki Smith, American (born Germany), born 1954; Banshee Pearls (detail), 1991; Smithsonian American Art Museum. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks, Earle. Great comment.
Thanks, Anne. I always love your comments.
Doug: for that kind of dedicated service, I would hope so.
photo by Jerome Sala ______________________________________________________________________________________ The Repairman I can’t get rid of him. One day I found him sprawled on the floor tinkering with the radiator. He was very vague about who had called him (not me) but seemed to think he had every right to be there. Then he handed me a bill for several thousand dollars. I said: “I can’t deal with this now, I’m late for an appointment.” But when I got to my office, he was already standing in the hallway tapping the walls with a concerned look. “Structural tests,” he said. After that I began seeing him everywhere, like a shadow carrying a toolbox. He followed me to school as sure as Mary’s little lamb. Later, he followed me into a bar, sat a few stools away, sipped a beer, and made fun of my taste in game shows. He even had the audacity to ring my mother’s doorbell on Thanksgiving claiming he had come to look at the dishwasher, but instead got into a discussion with her about fall fashions. In all fairness, he doesn’t seem dangerous or malicious; he’s never tried any funny business. But I have to ask myself if he’s fixed one thing. The answer is I don’t think he even tries. He just seems to want to be with me. Meanwhile, the bills keep coming. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Elaine Equi’s latest book is The Intangibles from Coffee House Press. Her other books include Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems, Click and Clone, and Sentences and Rain. Widely published and anthologized, her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Big Other, the Brooklyn Rail, The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, and in many editions of the Best American Poetry. She teaches at New York University and in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at The New School. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ "The Painter," collage by John Ashbery, 2014. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
A lucid and insightful reading of the poem. I haven't looked at Herbert's work in about 50 years, but liked it back then, and still do. (I'm also impressed by your astute grasp of the whole Christianity thing.)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ This time tomorrow this time tomorrow where do you think you will be in a car, a room on a road, a floor of a building with perhaps many floors, rooms, doors or lying on grass playing with your retriever looking for autumn falling dogwood leaves bees complaining for flowers or by a window awaiting cloudburst light hardening, darkening or fixing coffee I’ve just won a prize the E-Super-G Award E stands for Ego Super for Super G for Gratification it’s almost enough some of you may now finally and at long last feel belief in me of course the money will send my kids to college which makes them happy raccoon coats and such rah rah siss boom bah Go Team which is romantic I mean they think so which increases my stature as a lucky dog I’m the first winner it’s not like Nobel-stuffy it’s so very nice I do have duties I’ve only started to hear I have to do stuff remove shrubbery take out tree stumps and plant new remove old driveway remove old sidewalk have to rent a jackhammer replace old lamppost make forms pour concrete trim slate and lay it in place got to wear those gloves but not tomorrow you can put this hard stuff off you know how you can _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ David McAleavey has published seven books, most recently Huge Haiku (Chax Press, 2005), Rock Taught (Broadkill River Press, 2016), and Talk Music (Flying Islands Press, 2018), as well as one chapbook, David McAleavey’s Greatest Hits (Pudding House, 2001), and has edited two collections of writing from and about Washington area writers. He taught literature and creative writing at George Washington University from 1974 to 2020. He has lived in Arlington, Virginia, since 1976. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
Glad you liked it, Phyllis.
That's beautiful, Maureen. Thanks.
Thanks, Beth. I had forgotten your involvement with Bob's SOUP book.